Introduced locally by Takealot in 2012, Black Friday has grown into one of the most important events on the South African retail calendar and effectively kicks off the festive retail season.
An attractive feature of the landmark shopping event, which originated in the US, is that it’s meant to offer deep discounts on big-ticket items, but South African shoppers have also used the promo event to stock up on essential groceries and household goods.
That’s particularly expected to be the case this year, as cash-strapped consumers are needing their rands to stretch even further as the cost of living rises. Massmart and Pick n Pay both pointed to the importance of value this year and a broader focus on essential products.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, retailers and brands stretched Black Friday across the whole of November to avoid crowds in stores and ease the pressure on already strained supply chains. This year it’s more of a mixed bag, with some, like Game, doing away with ‘Black November’ and others, like Pick n Pay, LG and Makro extending their promos across a few weeks.
The impact of Black Friday on sales figures is significant, with Pick n Pay revealing that it’s the retailer’s single largest trading day, with R800m generated in sales on Black Friday alone last year. Meanwhile, Takealot is expecting to ship millions of boxes of orders to shoppers this November.
In the FMCG space, NielsenIQ expects Black Friday sales to eclipse spend over the traditional Christmas period, and noted with concern that certain brands are now so reliant on Black Friday sales to achieve their targets, that if they were to stop the promotion it would have a significant negative impact on their annual performance.
Retailers have worked to ready their systems for the inevitable spike in online shopper traffic and sales volumes, and months of tech upgrades for increased e-commerce capabilities will likely be tested this week.
The Shoprite Group said it’s looking forward to a year of “no crashing trolleys, apps or e-commerce platforms” as it’s focused on regularly optimising processes to ensure that its IT systems can handle the surge in shopper numbers during big campaigns.
While the escalating load shedding crisis is expected to eat into Black Friday sales this year, stores and malls with backup power supplies have a competitive advantage. Larger retail groups like Shoprite benefit from alternative power solutions, including diesel generators, solar power sources, and UPS equipment to keep tills running during power outages.
Here are some of the plans retailers have announced for Black Friday weekend (and beyond) this year.
Takealot is once again anticipating record order volumes this year, and is offering “up to 50% off thousands of deals”.
The e-commerce giant’s five-day Blue Dot Sale kicks off one minute past midnight on Black Friday (25 November) and sees new deals added daily over the weekend, as well as on Cyber Monday (28 November) and Takealot Tuesday (29 November).
Takealot said savings can be found on everyday essentials as well as the products shoppers have wish-listed for months – TVs, fridges, washing machines, laptops, fragrances, toys and tech.
Once again, Takealot is giving eager shoppers early access to Black Friday deals, with select Blue Dot Sale Early Access Deals being released daily from 21-24 November.
Over the weekend, Takealot will add new deals, and on Cyber Monday, South Africans can expect additional offers on tech, appliances and a special emphasis on loads hedding solutions.
Takealot Tuesday will shine a light on local businesses trading on the Takealot Marketplace platform, and will also include discounts on brands exclusive to Takealot.
During November, Makro has been offering three weeks of weekly promotions in the lead-up to its Explosive Black5Day sale, which runs between 23 and 27 November. The retailer promises “great deals” not only on its popular appliances department but also across fresh and butchery, pantry, general merchandise and liquor.
Makro is already running deals similar to Black5Day on its website as well as on the recently launched Makro Shopping App for its customers who prefer to shop online. Shoppers should keep an eye out for a “secret coupon” to score an added discount at checkout.
Game, often the most Googled retailer for Black Friday each year, will open most of its 108 stores across the country from midnight until 8pm on Friday, 25 November, giving shoppers extended time to shop deals.
Game promises an assortment of products available at “heavily discounted prices” across categories, but shoppers can expect major deals on electronics, appliances, homeware, DIY and outdoor this year.
The retailer is also offering its largest-ever online range for Black Friday, with free delivery on all online orders over R450 made between 00:01 and 23:59 on Friday, 25 November.
Game said shoppers are guaranteed the best price in the market on any items bought this year, as the retailer’s Price Beat Promise is valid on all Black Friday deals, in-store and online.
Hardware and DIY retailer Builders will launch its Black Friday promo on 21 November, offering more than 150 Black Friday deals with discounts of up to 50%. As with all Massmart retailers this year, a two to five-day delivery timeframe is promised.
Pick n Pay
This year, Pick n Pay will offer Black Friday deals in store and across its various online platforms. Based on last year’s success, the retailer has also again run early Black Friday specials in the build-up to its popular Black Friday weekend.
Pick n Pay is promising “massive deals” on everyday grocery essentials such as cleaning products, nappies and toilet paper, as well as fresh produce and more indulgent items like treats and snacks. There will also be deals tailored for those getting a head start on Christmas shopping.
Both supermarket brands (Pick n Pay and Pick n Pay QualiSave) will focus on essential everyday groceries, while QualiSave stores will have a greater focus on multi and combo commodity deals.
Most of the Black Friday deals will be Smart Price, and customers will need to swipe their Smart Shopper loyalty card to unlock them.
Customers will be able to shop all Black Friday deals online and delivery slots have been increased significantly for expedient delivery times. For the first time, customers can get nationwide delivery on all large-scale purchases, like appliances, on the Pick n Pay Home online shop which launched this month.
Through Pick n Pay’s main online shop (www.pnp.co.za), customers can shop for unlimited Black Friday grocery deals with delivery slots as early as the next day or even same day in selected areas if orders are placed before 2pm.
Shoprite and Checkers
According to the Shoprite Group, customers can look forward to in-store Black Friday deals at Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Checkers Foods and LiquorShop stores nationwide with up to 50% off on everyday essentials, groceries and more.
The company guarantees this will be its “biggest Black Friday ever” with plenty of stock, extended shopping hours and additional employees on hand to ensure a seamless shopping experience.
Checkers was the first retailer to launch Black Friday in South Africa in 2014 and will continue to build on the legacy by offering deep discounts of up to 50% this Black Friday. Customers can look forward to deals on grocery, toys, top appliance brands, tech, wine and more – both in store and online.
Dis-Chem’s Black Friday campaign will run for a full eight days, from Sunday 20 November to Sunday, 27 November, with discounts and specials available to customers both in-store and online. There will also be selected online exclusive deals that will be available over the Black Friday weekend.
The pharmacy retailer will offer discounts across a broader range of items this year, including household essentials, health and nutrition, electrical appliances, fragrances, makeup and personal care, and specialised items such as wheelchairs, walking sticks, walkers, blood pressure monitors, first aid kits and glucose test strips.
A large range of skincare products are on offer from brands such as Bioderma, Vichy, La Roche Posay, Uriage Eau Thermale,and Cerave, and there are deals on baby products such as nappies and wipes.
Sales will be limited to six products per offer, per purchase.
Wellness Warehouse is offering customers up to 60% in savings on eco-friendly, natural health and lifestyle products over the Black Friday weekend.
The retailer is also using the popularity of the shopping event to contribute to reforestation in sub-Saharan Africa, and will be planting 400 trees through Greenpop for the occasion.
Wellness Warehouse online shoppers can help Greepop even plant more trees by selecting the Greenpop donation option at checkout.
Adidas will offer online and offline deals on styles across all departments including men, women and kids in the lead up to Black Friday and beyond.
From 21-25 November, customers can get up to 50% off at adidas.co.za, and from 21-25 November, Adidas will offer up to 40% at its stores nationwide. Between 17 November and 4 December, there will be an up to 50% off sale at Adidas factory outlet stores.
Deals on sneakers, accessories, athleisure and sports apparel will be on offer.
LG’s Life’s Good Celebration Black November sale spans the entire month. From 1 November until 30 November, LG will offer deals on certain OLED, QNED, NanoCell, and UHD TV models. A selection of the brand’s top-of-the-range soundbars, HiFi, and home theatre sound systems will also be up for grabs to complete the home cinema setup with immersive audio.
Consumer electronics brand Xiaomi is offering discounts on selected devices for Black Friday, and deals will be available until 31 December 2022.
Customers can score up to R1,000 off selected smartphones from Xiaomi’s retail partners including Ackermans, Dunns, Edgars, Game, Hi-Fi Corp, Incredible, Jet, Makro, Mr Price, Pep, Shoprite, TFG stores, Truworths and Woolworths.
Deals will be offered on the new Redmi A1, the Redmi Note 11 Series devices, Xiaomi 12 Series, Redmi 10A, Redmi 10C and and Redmi 10 2022.
This list will be updated as more plans are announced.